The name, "Count Dracula" has a deep literary and cultural history that follows behind it. No doubt you have encountered in your life some kind of representation of Dracula's story. The character of Dracula was invented by Bram Stoker in his novel of the same name, which is now regarded as a cornerstone of the Gothic-horror genre. The novel was published in 1897, and it was not long before several adaptions surrounding Stoker's notorious account began to surface. In 1924, Hamilton Deane created a theatrical version of Dracula, with revisions by John L. Balderston. It was this stage play that served as the basis for the 1931 film that is so well known and loved today. Dylan Langan's opera, premiering this February with Vera Causa Opera, is based on this famous film.
In the opera, Renfield, a business man, visits Count Dracula to present him with the deed to a property in London that Dracula is in the process of purchasing, unaware of Dracula's vampire status. During his visit, Dracula invades Renfield's mind to turn him into a servant to Dracula's bidding. The two travel with Dracula's undead wives on a ship to London, hiding in coffins- filled with earth from Dracula's homeland of Transylvania- coffins in which he needs to sleep in order to survive. The ship arrives in London, with Renfield as seemingly the only living passenger. Renfield, raving about consuming life, is brought to Dr. Seward's sanitarium. That evening, Dracula meets Dr. Seward, along with Seward's daughter, Mina, her fiancée Johnathon, and their friend, Lucy. The group toasts to death and later, Mina and Lucy chat about Dracula's mysterious nature and allure. Dracula comes to Lucy in the night and turns her into a vampire. Dr. Seward recruits Van Helsing, a professor specializing in the supernatural to help solve the mystery of Lucy's death and of Renfield's strange behaviour. Dracula sets his sight on Mina next, though Renfield begs him not to. Van Helsing confronts Dracula, who recoils upon the presentation of a crucifix, which confirms Van Helsing's fears that Dracula is no mortal man. Mina and Johnathon share a romantic moment, but when Mina nearly attacks Johnathon, she reveals that Dracula has taken control of her. That night, Van Helsing and Johnathon follow Renfield into Dracula's abbey, where Dracula kills Renfield, thinking he has betrayed his master. The men find Dracula's coffin and drive a stake through his heart, saving Mina and ending Dracula's dark grasp over their lives.
Dylan Langan, the composer of Dracula, and the Artistic Director of Vera Causa Opera, had the following words to say about the opera:
"Dracula is a great balance of theatre and music, returning opera to its roots, and providing the modern attendee with something they can understand and enjoy. With twelve leads and a full orchestra, my sixth opera is one you really don't want to miss!"
Don't miss your chance to see the world premiere of this incredible opera, with an all-star cast and VCO's unparalleled orchestra.